NFL Picks Week #5 (2022 regular season)
NFL PICKS (WEEK #5)
BY PROFESSOR MJ
Written Wednesday October 5th, 2022 at 1 pm Eastern Time (spreads/odds may have changed)
Last week was our first losing week of the 2022 NFL season, as we finished with a 5-6 record overall. Indeed, we had 2 wins and 3 losses on sides and totals, whereas we obtained a 3-3 record on player proposition bets. No big losses there.
So far this year, we still hold a very good 28-23 record across all NFL predictions. Let’s keep grinding, guys!
PICK #1: OVER 45 DOLPHINS-JETS
Teddy Bridgewater gets the nod after the frightening injury to Tua Tagovailoa last Thursday. Bridgewater’s numbers against the Bengals may not look super impressive at first sight, but he passed my eye test. I thought he did a very decent job after being thrown into action on the road. He completed 14-of-25 passes, which is decent, and he racked up 193 passing yards in the process, which is a solid average per completion. Now, he gets 10 full days to prepare and practice with the starting offense.
Over the past four seasons, Bridgewater compiled 43 TD passes versus 21 interceptions. That’s fairly good when you are a backup NFL quarterback. He has one of the best WR duo in the entire league at his disposal, so all he needs to do is feed them the ball. Facing a Jets defense that ranks 26th in terms of points allowed per game, I am confident the Dolphins can put up several points on the board.
On the other side, can the Jets generate some offense against Miami? I think they can. Once again, we have a suspect QB with plenty of solid weapons around him. In this case, the Jets have three very good receivers with Elijah Moore, Garrett Wilson and Corey Davis. Even Braxton Berrios can do some damage as the fourth wide receiver on the depth chart. In the backfield, you could do much worse than having Breece Hall and Michael Carter.
Through the first four weeks of the season, Miami’s defense is in the middle of the pack in terms of points allowed. The team’s best cover man, Xavien Howard, tweaked his groin last week and truly has a chance of missing this contest. That would be a great boost to the Jets’ passing game.
I am aware that the “under” was the winning bet the last five times these two clubs met in New York. Still, I like this game to produce more than 45 points given the arguments I explained earlier.
PICK #2: TAMPA BAY BUCS -8 VS ATLANTA FALCONS
Would you like to face Tom Brady after he has suffered an ugly loss on primetime television? I don’t think so! That’s the challenge the Falcons will face this weekend, and I believe they won’t be up to the task.
Beating Tampa on the road became a much harder job for Atlanta when they learned that Cordarrelle Patterson was placed on injured reserve after suffering a knee injury. He was having an exceptional start to his 2022 campaign, and now the organization will need to turn to unproven running backs like rookies Tyler Allgeier and Caleb Huntley.
Tampa’s run defense, which has been great for several years, showed signs of weaknesses against the Chiefs last week. In fact, Kansas City rushed 37 times for 189 yards. I believe this was an outlier, and the Bucs will take pride in fixing this issue very quickly.
The Falcons have relied on the ground game a lot so far. With Patterson out and Tampa’s rush defense with a chip on their shoulder, I don’t think Atlanta will be able to run effectively.
And the bad news is the Falcons cannot rely on their passing offense, which has been abysmal through the first four weeks. Marcus Mariota has averaged just 195 passing yards per game, along with 4 TD passes and 3 interceptions. Atlanta has the fifth-worst passer rating in the NFL this year.
Moreover, the Bucs will be playing at home for the third straight week, which means they will be more fresh and rested.
There are many trends that also point in Tampa’s direction:
- The last 11 times the Bucs lost a game, they followed up with an 8-3 record ATS;
- Tampa holds an 11-5 record ATS over their last 16 home games;
- The Falcons are 1-4 ATS the last five times they visited Tampa Bay;
- Atlanta is 3-7-1 following a straight up victory.
The only argument favoring Atlanta that matters to me is the revenge factor. As a matter of fact, the Falcons lost both meetings with Tampa last year, but it is still not enough to stop me from placing a bet on the Bucs as 8-point favorites this weekend.
The next prediction is not an official pick yet. I may or may not bet it, but so far I have not pulled the trigger.
LEAN: LOS ANGELES CHARGERS -1.5 AT CLEVELAND BROWNS
I don’t have a lot of arguments backing this pick, but I am really tempted by this bet nonetheless.
One thing that stands out to me is the fact that the Browns’ pass defense ranks 15th in terms of passer rating allowed, even though they faced extremely bad QBs: Baker Mayfield, Joe Flacco, Mitchell Trubisky and Marcus Mariota. Can you imagine what it will be like when facing Justin Herbert this weekend?
During the first three games of the season, I thought Jacoby Brissett did a very fine job leading the Browns offense. He had tossed 4 TD passes versus just one pick, while completing 66% of his passes.
However, I didn’t like what I saw last week against a weak Falcons pass defense. Brissett wasn’t horrible, but he certainly took a step back. I find it hard to believe that he can keep up with the Chargers offense.
The only hope for Cleveland is if its defense can hold up. Defensive linemen Myles Garrett, Jadeveon Clowney and Taven Bryan are all listed as questionable right now.
Herbert looked good last week despite his rib injury, while Austin Ekeler finally woke up by scoring his first three touchdowns of the year. Also, wide receiver Keenan Allen has a chance of returning to the lineup after suffering a hamstring injury.
Thanks for reading and enjoy your weekend, my sports betting friend!
(Sports Betting Expert / University Professor / PhD in statistics)